Handmade reed flute at the New World Festival of the Arts.

Back in 1981 Edward Greene, owner of the Christmas Shop in Manteo was looking for a way to bring people to the town’s waterfront. He came up with the idea of hosting a regional arts and craft festival.

That was the first New World Festival of the Arts.

Edward, who is almost 100 years old, stepped away from the festival about eight years ago, turning it over to the Dare County Arts Council. The DCAC didn’t miss a beat and the New World Festival of the Arts is still an amazing collection of artists and crafters, all of it very high quality.

There is always a very good representation of local artists on hand, but there are also exhibitors from as far away as Florida to the south and New Jersey to the north.

Scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, August 15 and 16, the NWFA is a offers a wonderful excuse to wander around the Manteo Waterfront. 

There is no way to be sure of everything that will be there, but in the past the festival has featured some very fine art, excellent jewelry, handblown glass figurines and wonderful pottery. With 75-80 exhibitors, that’s just a small sampling of what is typically available.

The forecast is calling for Wednesday and Thursday to be near perfect days for a visit. Warm, but not necessarily hot, very little chance of rain and there is almost always a light breeze off Roanoke Sound. 

It’s worth a little time away from the beach to check out a great Outer Banks tradition.